Angelica (Angelica archangelica)

Angelica Overview:

Angelica seeds are a common ingredient in alcoholic beverages including Cartreuse and Gin for their aromatic and pleasant nature. Both the roots and seeds are used as medicine.

Angelica roots and seeds are both potent antispasmodics, and are useful in treating mucle cramping and period pains. They are also bitter, making them useful for stimulating digestion.

One of the best uses for angelica though are for its antibacterial actions. In the times of the black plague, angelica was said to have been brought to humans by an angel as a cure, hence the name Angelica archangelica.

angelica archangelica

Main Uses:

Muscle cramps, period pains, indigestion, bacterial infection of the gastrointestinal tract.

Main Herbal Actions:

  • Antispasmodic
  • Carminative
  • Cholagogue
  • Bitter
  • Antibacterial
  • Anticancer

Part Used

Seeds, root, essential oil, leaves

Family Name

Apiaceae

Distribution

Throughout Europe, Northern India

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Constituents of Interest

  • Angelic acid
  • Valeric acid
  • Angelicin

Common Names

  • Angelica
  • Chorak

Botanical Info:

There are 30 species of Angelica. Ths most commonly used are Angelica sinensis (Dong Quai), and Angelica archangelica.

The apiaceae family of plants, under which angelica is contained, consists of 3700 species distributed into 434 genera. It is in fact the 16th largest family of flowering plants.

Research Overview:

Level Of Research:

Clinical Applications Of Angelica:

Angelica seed is effective for treating convulsions due to seizures, period cramps, and mucle cramping. The antibacterial profile of this plant has not yet been confirmed fully.

Cautions:

Angelica is suggested by traditional medical texts to be a uterine stimulant and should not be used during pregnancy.

The furanocoumarin content can cause phototoxicity in the skin, avoid angelica if high sun exposure is to be expected.

 

Recommended Products Containing Angelica:

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Angelica Extract

Herb Pharm

made from Angelica archangelica root

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Dried Angelica Root

Starwest Botanicals

Made from dried Angelica archangelica root

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References:

For references, visit the full angelica monograph.